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NY Gov. To Tour Legal Marijuana States Ahead Of Legalization Fight

Governor says New York can learn from what’s worked, what hasn’t

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that he will embark on a cross-country tour of legal marijuana states as part of his effort to legalize the drug in New York.

At a press event in New York City, Cuomo said he plans to visit Massachusetts, Illinois and either California or Colorado — three states that have “different versions” of legalized recreational marijuana programs. He said the goal is to find out what’s worked for them, what hasn’t, and what they’ve learned in the process.

“Everybody has goals,” he said. “We want a goal of social equity, we want to make sure young people can’t get it, et cetera. We want to make sure there are advantages to communities that have been oppressed. But then you look at the aftermath and many of those goals haven’t been met, right?”

He said he and “his team” will meet with the other states to explore how the social equity and law enforcement pieces of their programs have panned out. Social equity programs aim to increase access to the industry for poor and minority groups who have been harmed by America’s war on drugs.

It’s likely the governor’s team would include the state’s new director of Cannabis Programs, Norman Birenbaum, who was appointed to the brand new position in December.

Cuomo spokesman Jason Conwall said additional details on the trip, including who’s going and when, will be released soon.

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